On Sunday, the fashion world was stunned by the sudden death of designer Virgil Abloh, who had been privately battling cancer for two years. In recent years, Abloh had become one of the most prominent figures in fashion and sneakers, as his Off-White brand became a phenomenon and he started working in major roles with the likes of Louis Vuitton and Nike.
His influence went beyond the fashion world, as he designed a number of beloved album covers for Kanye West and others, and he built connections and relationships with many in the sports world through his Nike collaborations. On Sunday night, the Los Angeles Lakers played host to the Detroit Pistons and after a win, the team’s two top stars were asked about Abloh’s passing and spoke on the impact he had on the Black community and the influence his rise in the fashion world could have on future generations of creators and artists.
Here’s the full transcript of LeBron and AD’s comments about Virgil Abloh, who died today after a long battle with a rare form of cancer. His work with Off-White and Louis Vuitton is highly influential in NBA circles, which colored this response to @swishcultures_‘ question: pic.twitter.com/sFTjKmqDpP
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) November 29, 2021
“I think for the Black community to see someone like that, for our younger generation and the kids that look up to guys like all of us, to see a guy like Virgil break the barrier to be able to go from where he started to being able to work for Louis Vuitton and Nike and all these unbelievable companies as a Black man, it just does so much for your youth,” LeBron said.
“His art, it probably was one of the first times we’ve seen something like that where the Black community just gravitated to it so quickly,” Davis added. “And not just the Black community. Everyone. Everyone gravitated to it. He was a phenomenal talent at what he did and what he’s done with his art. … He brought so much to this world, and it just sucks.”